How Much Should My Massage Hurt?

low back massage, massage therapist using elbowFolks seek out massage for many different reasons, including relaxation, stress relief, and pain relief. Right off the top, if you’re looking to relax or de-stress, a painful or uncomfortable massage is not the way to go.

Many of of our customers come in for massage looking for relief from muscle aches and pains. Often folks think that, to achieve this, the massage has gotta hurt. A lot. No pain, no gain! Right? We’ve all heard it, but is more pain the way to relieve pain? And if so, how much pain?

What do we mean by “hurt”?

Sometimes, when getting a massage, folks describe feeling a “good pain” or a “good hurt.” It’s an intense sensation, but it feels right. Like sweet relief. So pain isn’t maybe the right word to use to describe this sensation.

But sometimes, pain is just pain. And if you tune into your body, you may find yourself holding your breath, or clenching your jaw, tensing your muscles in an effort to avoid the pain.

Is pain helpful for relieving pain?

There is a difference between an intense or vigorous massage and a painful one. An intense feeling of “good pain” can be therapeutic. But a painful massage that causes you to tense your muscles in an effort to avoid the pain? Not so much.

So, how much should your massage hurt?

Not at all.

You may feel an intense sensation that many describe as “good pain” for lack of a better phrase. And that is perfectly normal and helpful.

But if you’re just feeling plain ol’ pain, if you’re holding your breath or clenching your fists, that’s no good. Tell your massage therapist if it hurts, or if you need less pressure in that area (or for the whole massage), or even if an area is too painful to be touched at all. We’re here to help you feel better, not worse.

Ready to schedule your massage? Book here.